Thursday, August 15, 2013

Should kids learn times tables?

Knowing that I teach year seven mathematics, people often ask me my opinion on whether kids should learn their times tables (or multiplication tables if you prefer). In this post, I argue that times tables should be learned at some stage of the child's education, but only as part of many ideas related to multiplication.

Firstly, multiplication tables should not be learned too early. My kids' primary school holds off till kids reach grade 3. A kid who "knows the answer" to 3x8 will not feel the need to group objects in threes or in eights and will miss discovering a few things about multiplication:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My reflections on Day 2 of the VITTA conference

This year, like the previous two years, three students and I ran a workshop on mobile APP development using Corona SDK at the annual conference of the Victorian IT Teachers Association. In this post, I will reflect on the workshop itself, the keynote given by Adam Eliot and other happenings at the conference.

I started the day early and was in front of the school by 7:10am. I was waiting to drive with three students to the Caulfield Racecourse, where we were to attend the annual VITTA conference. The girls were punctual and we left Avila at 7:30am.

Upon arrival, we parked and registered. There were tags and show bags for each of us. The girls loved the freebies. As soon as we checked out the room we were to present in, we went down to the expo and they moved around the exhibits, collecting highlighters, pens and stress balls!

We then moved on to the keynote which was given by Oscar-winning animator Adam Eliot. It was a very entertaining speech and we had time to ask questions. Here are some take aways from the keynote:

  • Adam won the Oscar despite being up against some big studios with big budgets. He had filmed "Harvey Krumpet" in his dad's storage unit, which was far from an ideal environment. He stated that "creativity comes from the person, not the technology".